Mount Cook Lodge

Glacier Explorers

The only tour of its kind in New Zealand. An amazing encounter with New Zealand's largest glacier, the Tasman Glacier. Explore, learn and discover the ever-changing glacial landscape as you journey across the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake in a custom-built MAC Boat with your experienced guide.

With the effects of global warming and other climatic processes taking their toll on New Zealand glaciers, their retreat is imminent. Approximately 27km long and 600m deep, in recent years the Tasman Glacier has changed from a 'melting' to a 'calving and melting' terminus, resulting in a terminal lake that is rapidly increasing in size.

This results in icebergs of various shapes and sizes periodically tearing away from the terminal face of the glacier into the rapidly growing lake. On either side of the Terminal Lake, lateral moraines rear up almost 200m to remind us of the scale and greatness that the glacier has reached in previous times.

For more information about Glacier Explorers see below or visit the official website:

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Glacier Explorers

Cruise the Tasman Glacier terminal lake surrounded by spectacular alpine scenery, Aoraki Mount Cook and icebergs

The Trip:

Depart from Mount Cook Village outside The Hermitage Hotel. The bus will take you out to the Tasman Valley and take a 20 minute alpine walk through the National Park to the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake. Then board your MAC boat and enjoy the ever changing ice face of the Tasman Glacier icebergs.
Allow 2.5 hours total per trip - (Approx 60 minutes on the lake)

Season & Departures:

Glacier Explorers generally operates from September to late May (season opening date subject to lake thawing).

Daily departures are available throughout the season at : 8am, 9.30am, 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm, 3.30pm & 5pm (subject to appropriate weather, daylight and lake conditions).

Adult Child (4-14 years)
$170.00 $87.00
All prices are in NZD and include GST
What is supplied What to bring
Return transport A warm layer of clothing
Life jackets Camera with plenty of Memory
Experienced guides
Sunblock & sunglasses
An unforgettable experience
Wet weather gear
Flat soled, enclosed walking shoes

Important Info:

  • Check in required 30mins before scheduled departure.
  • Due to high demand, we recommend that you pre-book this activity to avoid disappointment.
  • Weather Conditions: Glacier Explorers operates in a unique, alpine environment. A decision is made by the lead guide just before each trip based on current weather and lake conditions. 100% refund if trip cancelled before departure due to prevailing weather conditions.  50% refund if boat cruise is shortened after departure due to a change in conditions.  At all times passenger safety and comfort is our first priority.
  • Cancellation Policy: 24-48 hours before departure - loss of 50% of the total price. Within 24 hours of departure - loss of 100% of the total price.
  • Please be aware that icebergs on the lake occur as a result of glacial calving activity. As this is a natural occurrence, at times the glacier is not as active meaning the quantity and size of icebergs on the lake vary.  Icebergs, calvings and rollovers cannot be guaranteed, but are a wonderful bonus for passengers lucky enough to experience them.


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Seven Sharp Glacier Explorers Story February 2013

Brodie Kane from Seven Sharp reporting on the Glacier Explorers and the huge February 2013 Calving of the Tasman Glacier.